A ring is symbolic of commitment and fidelity. But what happens when the ring itself gets a little too attached? People have been struggling with that issue since the invention of this accessory. Luckily enough, there are more than a few strategies for removing a stuck ring.
Before you resort to calling your doctor or local jeweler, give a few of these holistic ring-removal techniques a try.
1. How to Remove a Stuck Ring With Dental Floss
One of the most effective methods for removing a stuck ring involves dental floss. Rings tend to stick due to swelling in the finger or arthritis. Wrapping a short section of the finger in floss will force it down to size and provide a slippery surface for the ring to slide over.
Start by sliding the end of the floss between the ring and your finger. Leave a tail you’ll use to pull the ring forward. Pulling the floss through, wrap it around your ring finger immediately in front of the ring.
Once you have a few good wraps squishing your finger down, use the other end of the floss to pull the ring forward. This trick should allow the ring to slip to a narrower part of your finger.
If this doesn’t work, there are still alternatives you can try. Don’t damage your finger by tightening the floss too much.
2. Which Lubricants Are Best for Removing a Stuck Ring?
Perhaps you’ve considered using a slippery liquid to get the ring off your finger. It’s not a bad idea. Our suggestion is to skip the soap and oil and go for Windex. Yes, the same stuff you use to shine your glass.
It’s so popular in this application that jewelers and emergency rooms keep it on hand for this exact purpose. You’ll have the added bonus of beautiful, streak-free windows.
Other suggestions for ring-removal lubricants include Vaseline, hand lotion, butter and olive oil. When you attempt removal this way, be sure you’re twisting the ring as you go. Too many yanks on your finger can cause it to swell up, so take a break if you’re not making progress.
3. What to Avoid When Attempting Removal
The biggest no-no in removing a stuck ring is agitating your finger more. When you continually tug on your finger, it’s liable to get swollen. That’ll make getting the ring off even more difficult.
If you know a ring is getting stuck, don’t leave it on. When you do remove the ring, you may need to consult a jeweler to have it re-sized so you can go back to wearing it safely.
You shouldn’t do physical labor or heavy lifting while wearing a missized ring. It can cut off circulation, leading to severe medical implications. In an extreme situation, you could hypothetically kill your fingernail or the finger itself.
When trying a ring on, always make sure you can rotate it fairly easily. Test to make sure that the ring will spin clockwise and counterclockwise. Bend your knuckle and be sure it’s comfortable.
You’re going to be wearing this for a long time, so it’s OK to sweat the small stuff. Some people even have multiple rings made in different sizes to accommodate changes in the size of their finger over time.
4. How to Make a Swollen Finger Go Down Fast
A ring will often become stuck because your finger is temporarily swollen. This might happen for several reasons:
- If you’ve had a big meal
- Experienced a bout of arthritis
- Been wearing tight gloves
- Performed some high-stress physical activity with your hands.
In these cases, you need the swelling to go down before you can remove the ring. You could wait it out, but if you’re in a hurry, there are methods of expediting this process.
Keep your hand elevated to reduce blood flow into the finger. Doing so will begin to reduce the swelling more quickly. In addition to elevation, use a cool pack or dunk your hand in a bowl of ice. Cold will chill your finger as much as is comfortable while elevating it.
The combination of cooling and reduced circulation should bring your finger back to its normal size in a reasonable time. Then you can go ahead and wriggle that ring off, or use one of the other methods we’ve mentioned.
5. Is Cutting Off a Stuck Ring an Option?
The answer to this question is, “Yes. But not when you do it yourself.”
We never encourage or condone the use of power tools, pliers or any other method you might have the tools for around the house. If you cannot remove a ring using the techniques we’ve described thus far, call your doctor or jeweler and explain the situation. They’ll probably have you come in and use a ring cutter to loosen the ring.
The cutter works by sliding a thin plate between your finger and the ring. The operator tightens the cutting wheel against the ring and uses it to saw the ring in half. The wheel is sharp enough to cut metal.
However, since the machine is hand-operated, it doesn’t rotate very quickly. Between this and the protective plate, these devices work great to remove stuck rings without causing any collateral damage.
Keep in mind that cutting off your ring will damage it. That’s why it’s best to avoid resorting to this if you can. The ring cutter may not need to cut through the ring entirely to loosen it enough to remove. However, no one wants to wear a partially severed wedding ring.
There’s little risk of injury with this technique as the tool is not powered. Different sizes and types of ring cutters are available for cutting through softer or harder metals.
Take a Proactive Approach With Better Ring Sizing
If you’re keen on having the means to remove tight rings regularly, you can purchase them for personal use. You can find several for sale on Amazon, like this one.
We would suggest taking up some better ring-sizing habits, however.
Dylan Bartlett, aka, “The Regular Guide,” writes about a broad variety of topics on his blog.